Before going vegan, I'd never heard of fava beans. But you learn about (and develop a taste for) all kinds of new foods when you go vegan. Many of them have ancient roots, like quinoa and falafel, but they're not foods omnis and even vegetarians in rural Arkansas grow up eating. But when I moved to the city and went vegan, my tastes opened up to all kinds of stuff, like fava beans.
My favorite use for the fava, also known as broad beans, is ful medames. It's an Egyptian dish of fava beans cooked with olive oil, parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. There's a little Middle Eastern place, with a few African selections, down the road from my house that serves the best ful on the planet.
And while I can get a bowl of that for under $10, I thought it'd be fun to try at home. I found some dried, shelled fava beans at an international market, and then I found this recipe for Whole Fava Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce from Joshua Ploeg's In Search of the Lost Taste, a fun cookzine from Portland's Microcosm Publishing:
I cooked my fava beans a little too long, so I didn't really have whole favas in my stew. But it was still delicious. The mixture is a little different from the ful I'm used to because it's seasoned with cinnamon, coriander, and cloves. But it's still way delicious!
I served my stew with a slice of Sun-dried Tomato & Pesto bread from locally based Shoaf's Loaf Bakery and some sauteed green beans and garlic from the Memphis Farmers Market.
What new foods did you discover when you first went vegan?